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04/07/2011 at 12:00 PM ET

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Mary on

I have a 10 year old son who had anger issues during kindergarten and 1st grade. They would happen at school and at home, well just about anywhere. We took him to a neurologist/child psychologist. Who we worked with closely. Yes at times my son was disruptive in school. The dr encouraged us to punish and not let his behavior rule us. He had to know that there were consequences to his behavior. His behavior was unacceptable. Although our son never hit, punched, kicked or swore at anyone he would say stuff like “this is stupid” or stomp off and occasionally push a chair. At the end of the day our son would cry because he would feel so bad at what he did or how he handled a situation. While he was acting out in anger I will say life at home was stressful. I was taking care of my mom who had an LVAD and waiting for a heart and kidney. She needed 24/7 care by myself, my husband and our oldest daughter who was 16 at the time. we were the only ones certified to care for her. It was tough. This is not an excuse but for a 4 year old who couldn’t really express his feelings I am sure this added to anxiety and anger. Many tests were done and we found he suffers from migraines. Not surprised as it runs in my family. But all other tests came clean. Could that have been a trigger to headaches, ? We didn’t think so. So the dr told us to continue seeing him every 4 weeks and be patient. If the teachers feel he needs meds the dr would comply but felt that our son would ‘outgrow’ this. I so doubted this dr. As a former teacher, I wanted to place him on meds as I didn’t want him to disrupt his class any further. But my mom who worked in Neurology for 40 yr advised us not to.So we did a lot of praying taking deep breaths, crying and of course talking. BTW our teachers didn’t think he needed meds. So he did not get them!
He is now in 4th grade. He is on honor roll. All A’s and 2 B+. He reads at 8th grade level and does late 5 th grade math. He has had the lead in two plays. I am very proud of him. While going thru all this I seriously would go to bed nights crying wondering how in the hell I was going to get thru the next day not knowing how he was going to act. But to see him today, he is my most loving, compassionate, funny, imaginative, smart child I know. And he now can talk about his memories he had of his “Gemma” with a smile! She has since past away.

The problem I have with this 8 yr old is that neither he nor his mother own up to the problem they have. A child with anger issues. We owned up. Many of nights our son went to bed early and had no computer or wii for weeks, we took him to a dr religiously. I was NOT going to give up on him, or us! Although it did for a fleeting moment I am sure cross my mind.
If you have a child with anger issues, get help! Don’t be afraid. Its our job as a parent to do the best for our children.